Compromise of 1850
The Compromise of 1850 consists of five laws passed in September
of 1850 that dealt with the issue of slavery. In 1849 California
requested permission to enter the Union as a free state,
potentially upsetting the balance between the free and slave
states in the U.S. Senate. Senator Henry Clay introduced
a series of resolutions on January 29, 1850, in an attempt
to seek a compromise and avert a crisis between North and
South. As part of the Compromise of 1850, the Fugitive
Slave Act was amended and the slave
trade in Washington, D.C., was abolished. Furthermore, California
entered the Union as a free state and a territorial government
was created in Utah.
Also, an act was passed settling a boundary
dispute between Texas and New Mexico that also established
a territorial government in New Mexico.
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Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation
The Compromise of 1850 was introduced by Senator
Henry Clay in a series of resolutions on January 29,
1850. Clay defended his proposals in a speech delivered on February 5 and 6, 1850.
this collection in the 31st Congress, 1st Session, to
find additional Congressional documents on the Compromise
of 1850, including the speeches of Senator John
Calhoun and Senator Daniel
of March" speech).
and Deeds in American History
C. Calhoun's speech to the Senate against the Compromise
of 1850, as well as Daniel
Webster's notes for his speech favoring the Compromise.
Back in Time: John C. Calhoun Was Born, March 18, 1782.
Back in Time: The Day Henry Clay Died, June 29, 1852.
Treasures of the Library of Congress - Compromise of 1850
Exhibit of documents from Senators John C. Calhoun
and Daniel Webster on the Compromise of 1850.
Senator Daniel Webster delivered his famous "Seventh
of March" speech urging sectional compromise on
the issue of slavery.
Lesson Plan: The Compromise of 1850, The Dirksen
Webster’s Speech on the Compromise of 1850,
United States Senate
Documents, Compromise of 1850, National Archives
and Records Administration
over Slavery: The Compromise of 1850, National Archives
and Records Administration
Hamilton, Holman. Prologue to Conflict,
the Crisis and Compromise of 1850. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press,
Holt, Michael F. The Political Crisis
of the 1850s. New
York: Norton, 1983. [Catalog
Stegmaier, Mark Joseph. Texas, New
Mexico, and the Compromise of 1850: Boundary Dispute & Sectional Crisis. Kent,
Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1996. [Catalog
Waugh, John C. On the Brink of Civil
War: The Compromise of 1850 and How it Changed the Course
of American History.
Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 2003. [Catalog